Sustainable development and the sea

Welcome to SUDG ~ Sustainable development and the sea

The Seabed User & Developer Group comprises some of the key marine industries. The SUDG understands that the sea around our shores is a sensitive environment that needs to be valued and protected, but it is also a working environment that makes a substantial contribution to all our lives. From energy to aggregates and from ports to cables and leisure boating, the industries of the sea make an essential contribution to our land-based society and represent 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product supporting c.900,000 jobs.

We are an informal grouping whose participants have a common interest and commitment to sustainable development within the UK’s marine environment. We believe that sustainable win-win solutions are possible from what are sometimes seen as competing needs. We are committed to working with Government, its agencies and other stakeholders, such as Wildlife and Countryside Link to develop cost-effective regulation and marine management that benefits both business and the environment. Our priorities are summarised as:-

  • A future for our seas based on sustainable development
  • Clear objectives which cover economic and social, as well as environmental needs
  • An integrated approach to planning, management and protection
  • Cost-effective regulation and management
  • Planning decisions based on science and knowledge
  • Robust mechanisms for high level resolution of problems
  • Consistency from the devolved administrations
  • Transitional arrangements while any new framework or legislation is put in place.

SUDG members are playing significant roles in the development of Marine Protected Areas providing data, information and support to the organisations doing the work. We have continued to work with Defra and others on the management of sites once designated and SUDG has consistently supported the move to create Marine Conservation Zones and continues to do so as we approach designation of the latest tranche. We also made this position clear in the joint statement that we prepared with the conservation bodies and presented to Richard Benyon, Marine and Fisheries Minister at the time of consultation on the first tranche, and we maintain that position still. In conjunction with conservation organisations, we agree that an essential aspect of good MCZs is a proportionate approach to regulation with clear and practical guidance to meet clearly defined conservation objectives and the resulting management measures required to deliver these. We continue to urge that these remain critical and work continues to be needed to achieve them.



Oil & Gas

THE UK’S OFFSHORE Oil and Gas Industry is one of the UK’s greatest economic successes of modern times. Read more..

Renewable Energy

THE SEA IS A VITAL AND GROWING source of renewable energy. The UK’s offshore wind sector alone, Read more ..

Marine Aggregates

AGGREGATE – SAND, GRAVEL AND CRUSHED ROCK – contributes greatly to our quality of life. The strength, Read more 


UK PORTS handle over 500 million tonnes of freight and more than 60 million passengers a year,  Read more …

Submarine Cables

ALL GLOBAL telecommunications are now carried by submarine cables, without which the internet would not work. Read more …

Recreational Boating

BRITISH MARINE is the membership organisation leading the leisure, small commercial and Super yacht Industry, Read more…

Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from power and industrial facilities, Read more…